One More Day

Rumeli Fortress on the Bosphorus

Rumeli Fortress on the Bosphorus

Today was our last day in Istanbul. Since we had seen most of the highlights we wanted to hit earlier in the week, we decided to sleep in a bit. We eventually got going around 10:00, popping down to the Arasta Bazaar to check it out. Next we headed back up Divan Yolu where Suzanne wanted to stop back by an inexpensive, small “Target-esque” store to pick up some tea glasses. (Six were only $2.) After a tram ride to the ferry port of Eminönü, we hopped on a boat for a 90 minute cruise up and down the Bosphorus. It was a nice time, but got quite cool and windy. (Suzanne moved downstairs where it was enclosed while I stuck it out up top for photos.)

After a brief stop for lunch, we walked back to the hotel to drop off some purchases, stopping a few places on the way. We then decided to hit the Mosaic Musuem, in the Arasta Bazaar, which was a nice way to spend some time. The 6th century mosaics are from the Byzantine Palace and are very impressive. Some final few shopping stops and we ended up back at the hotel, doing a few things before dinner at Mozaik, which was quite good. I made one last stop for a döner kebab as I hadn’t had one yet (and had them for lunch nearly every work day for the last several months I was in Marburg). It was good, but I prefer the German style meat which is mixed lamb and beef and not so strongly flavored. Back at the hotel, it was time to pack for our return trip.

It was a very nice trip and we really enjoyed Istanbul, even with the pushy shopkeepers and restauranteurs. The layers of history are quite impressive, and, in some ways, far more apparent than Rome. I think our 3 1/2 days was a good length to at least scratch the surface and we saw most of what we had planned. Coming in the off-season was a bonus, aside from the cool weather, as the crowds were very manageable. (Admittedly, we lucked out having only one day of rain. Last week it rained almost every day.) Will we come back? Probably, but probably not for some time as there are so many other places we’d like to go. (Also, I think it would be better for Kyle to be older if he were to come.)

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